Health Guide

Polymyxin B (By injection)

Polymyxin B Sulfate (pol-ee-MIX-in B SUL-fate)

Treats infections.

Brand Name(s):

Polymyxin B Sulfate Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to polymyxin.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle or a vein. It can also be given as a shot into your back.
  • Take all of the medicine in your prescription to clear up your infection, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you recently had surgery or a procedure that included the use of anesthesia. The muscle relaxers and anesthetics used may interact with polymyxin B.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken another antibiotic, such as bacitracin, streptomycin, neomycin, kanamycin, gentamicin, tobramycin, or amikacin. You could have a higher risk of side effects if you take any of these with polymyxin B.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Kidney problems
    • Nerve problems
  • This medicine can cause diarrhea. Call your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe, does not stop, or is bloody. Do not take any medicine to stop diarrhea until you have talked to your doctor. Diarrhea can occur 2 months or more after you stop taking this medicine.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Clumsiness, weakness, numbness, tingling feeling
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate, bloody or cloudy urine, trouble urinating
  • Diarrhea that may contain blood
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, or irritability
  • Fever with a headache or stiff neck
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Redness, pain, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given
  • White spots in your mouth or throat, vaginal itching, or unusual vaginal discharge

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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